Letters for Thursday — October 27, 2005

• Group just trying to help home buyers

• Citing scientific truths

• Seeking the truth

• Intelligent design, evolution or … E.T.?


Group just trying to help home buyers

I am tired of hearing people like Pete Antonson say that the group in the “Ohana Kauai Group” are a bunch of old wealthy people trying to get a tax break for themselves.

Let me tell you that as a member of that group I am not wealthy, but I am old, 71. I purchased a home in Kapa’a for an awfully lot of money, $340,000. My neighbors hold down two or three jobs to pay for their homes that they bought probably 7 or 8 years ago for perhaps half that much. Under the current tax measures their homes became worth $340,000 and therefore their taxes would go up to a taxation as though they lived in a $340,000 home. And if I sell my home tomorrow for $700,000 they will be paying taxes on their home now valued at $700,000. Yet if we have another ‘Iniki or the housing boom goes boom! their home and mine will be worth far less.

So they would have been paying a real estate property tax on a home that was never actually worth $700,000 unless they sold it.

There are people who are envious of others who chose to buy instead of rent, so they think it is not fair that the owner should get a so-called “break. ” Well it is not a break because the real value of their property is what they paid for it not what their neighbor paid for his. The only time their home becomes worth the going rate is when they sell it. And then what do they do? Move to Las Vegas, so that more so-called wealthy mainlanders can come in and take over the island.

I joined with this group to help the people who own on Kaua’i to be able to afford to keep their homes and to not be taxed out of them because of real estate inflation.

By the way this amendment is not like Prop 13 in California because it does not include businesses nor tourist-type rental properties, it is only for “owner-occupied residences”.

This was a well-thought-out Charter Amendment and those who worked on it were truly wanting to help those who chose to buy a home.

So let’s wait to see what happens with the Hawai’i Supreme Court as they take on this amendment. And quit the “belly aching” about who and what were the motives of the people who initiated the amendment.

No matter the outcome, I hope that those 13,000 voters who voted “YES” on the amendment will remember the politicians who have spent so much of taxpayers’ money to thwart the wishes of those voters.

  • Gordon “Doc” Smith
    Kapa’a

Citing scientific truths

Mr. Whiting’s assertion (GI 10/22/’05) that the Bible contains no scientific truth is most revealing of his ignorance of the facts. While it is true that the Bible is not a book of science, only the most uninformed would believe there are no scientific truths in it. There are so many that the word limit would be surpassed several times over in listing them all. So here are just a few examples:

1. Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of invisible atoms. Scripture tells us that the “things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

2. Medical science has only recently discovered that blood-clotting in a newborn reaches its peak on the eighth day, then drops. The Bible consistently says that a baby must be circumcised on the eighth day.

3. At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth’s free float in space: “He … hangs the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7).

4. The prophet Isaiah tells us that the earth is round: “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). This is not a reference to a flat disk, as some skeptics maintain, but to a sphere. Secular man discovered this 2,400 years later. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, it was the Scriptures that inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world (see Proverbs 3:6 footnote).

These are but a fraction of the many scientific truths in the Bible. I’d be more than happy to supply the rest, upon request.

  • Kent D. Gibboney
    Kapa’a

Seeking the truth

Chris Metcalf’s letter in the Saturday The Garden Island points out that scientists who do not believe in the existence of gods will be biased in their observations of the world by that atheism. I’m sure this is true to some extent. After all, they are only human. But I’m also sure that most scientists are aware of such a bias and try not to let it affect their research. The primary goal of science is truth. That is why scientists police themselves in the form of peer-review. Findings are not blindly accepted as fact. They are checked over and over again. Even after decades or centuries, their research is open to modification as new research is conducted.

However, I do know of a group of scientists who refuse to accept the findings of outside research. In fact, some of them were on Kaua’i over the weekend. Dr. Hugh Ross, astrophysicist, and Dr. Fuz Rana, chemist, spoke at a conference sponsored by the Kauai Christian Fellowship Church. Both are members (Ross is the founder) of Reasons to Believe, an international ministry which produces Christian books, videos, etc. Reasons to Believe adheres to the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy. A visit to their web site will reveal what they believe in the form of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics.

This states that they “deny that extra-biblical views ever disprove the teaching of Scripture or hold priority over it.” They also “deny that any genuine scientific facts are inconsistent with the true meaning of any passage of Scripture.” More telling, they “deny that the teaching of Genesis 1-11 are mythical and that scientific hypotheses about earth history or the origin of humanity may be invoked to overthrow what Scripture teaches about creation.” In other words, any scientific discovery that conflicts with what the Bible says is dismissed a priori. They don’t even have to see the evidence. If it contradicts what the Bible says then their position is that the evidence is false!

A personal bias in people is to be expected. However, when a group of so-called ‘scientists’ publicly and proudly claim to know the answers regardless of the evidence then the truth is nowhere to be found, it is the epitome of the closed mind.

  • Brian Christensen
    Lihu’e

Intelligent design, evolution or … E.T.?

Gee, is it just me again or is there anyone else who has had their fill of this intelligent design vs evolution debate?

I didn’t call it a discussion because I’ll bet ten bucks that if you got both camps in the same room for a “discussion” with no rules it would be a heated one. The funny thing is I think no one will ever know for sure.

Both sides have great arguments to support their beliefs (facts?) but I’m very sorry to report that you’re both absolutely wrong. Everyone on this planet is a direct descendant of extraterrestrials deposited here 3.59 million years ago. Fact!!! How do I know this? I had 2 beers with what looked like an alien last Thursday in Hanalei.

Nah … just kidding. Oh lighten up, will you!

  • Stephen Shioi
    Kapa’a
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